AUSTIN (KXAN) - A big project is in store for a popular Austin area. The city's Watershed Protection Department is looking for ways to fix damage along Shoal Creek.
The Shoal Creek Restoration Project will make improvements to the Shoal Creek corridor from 15th to 28th streets, including areas through Pease Park. Over the years, some sections of the creek bank have become eroded.
It's a popular spot to walk, run, bike and play.
"It's a beautiful park," said Greg Brooks, "I've been coming here for years. this used to be a disc golf course."
The heavy use of the area around Shoal Creek is one contributing factor to the erosion. Flooding, old wastewater lines, and aging infrastructure are also problems.
Morgan Byars, an engineer with the city's Watershed Protection says the Shoal Creek Restoration project will stabilize 3,000 feet of creek bank. Large limestone blocks will be used to construct the support.
"If we don't do that, then we will continue to lose trees, the trail system, and the general availability of land," said Byars, "Trees are very important to the health of the creek, as they provide shade and cooling of the water."
He also mentions the trail along Shoal Creek. Trail improvements are also part of the restoration project.
Patrick Lynch is new to Austin, and he says he enjoys using the miles and miles of trails the city has to offer, but thinks improvements around Shoal Creek couldn't hurt.
"There are some that are a little rocky, and maybe a little hard to get over," said Lynch.
The Shoal Creek Restoration Project is expected to cost $6 million. It is funded by the Drainage Utility Fee and Urban Structural Control Funds.
Work will start summer 2013 and is expected to last about a year. During that time parts of the trail could be closed or rerouted. Also, portions of Pease Park could close during construction.
If you would like to see the project design plans, the City is conducting an open house on Tuesday, Jan. 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Road, Room 325
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